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Dozens of Fishermen Rescued Off Kolkata

Dornier
File image courtesy Indian Navy

By MarEx 2016-08-15 12:15:18

The Indian Coast Guard is conducting a massive search and rescue effort to locate missing fishermen in the Bay of Bengal following a severe storm. 

"Our ships are operating in extremely rough seas. Our Dorniers are also pushing their limits by flying low in extreme weather conditions. FB Dayamoyee, a boat missing with 16 fishermen has been found adrift 62 nautical miles off Sagar due to engine failure," said Coast Guard Deputy Commandant Avinandan Mitra in a statement.

"We have also got in touch with the Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Bangladesh. They have assured us that if any Indian fishing boat drifts across the International Maritime Boundary Line due to bad weather, it will be provided all assistance [sic]," he added.

In two days of operations, authorities say that they have rescued 18 boats and over 250 fishermen. The Coast Guard diverted assets from other regions and activated additional patrol craft to find the drifting vessels, many of which had lost power.

As of Thursday, most of the vessels reported missing had been accounted for. In a statement, Minister of Fisheries Chandranath Sinha said that "while all the trawlers that had gone missing have been rescued and most of the fishermen have returned, of the five still missing at least two are feared dead." The two men, Badal Das, 48, and Bibekananda Sarkar, 38, are believed to have fallen overboard. 

One of the survivors, Swapan Das, told local media that "we didn't have any warning before getting into the water. The storm emerged suddenly and the trawlers drifted away . . . we didn't get any message regarding this sudden weather change."